Little League Winds Up Regular Season

By Neal Comstock
Falls Church Times Staff
June 13, 2014


The regular season ended last week and playoffs have begun. In this first season after which the Falls Church Kiwanis Little League (FCKLL) lost three of the four fields at Westgate Park due to the expansion of Westgate Elementary, the remaining field at Westgate was busy this week with playoff games. Playoff games were also held at other area fields more than in past years.

Majors (ages 10-12)

In the last game of the regular season on Saturday, May 31, at Westgate Park, Bobby Asel was solid at the plate for the Tigers. Asel went two for three, drove in one and scored one run. The Athletics’ jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first. The As threat began with a single by Thomas Downs. A passed ball then moved Downs from first to second before he stole third and home. The Athletics then tacked on more runs when Gus Bayer scored on a walk by Timmy Bradley and scored on a two-run home run by Caleb Parnell.  The Tigers scored four runs of their own in the first on an RBI single by Asel, a two-run error, and an RBI single by Sela Scheinman. The Athletics went up for good in the second, scoring five runs on two doubles and an RBI single by Parnell.  After pushing across three runs in the bottom of the third, the Tigers faced just a 10-7 deficit. A two-run double by Mark Comstock and a groundout by Gavin McNabb triggered the Tigers’ comeback. Finally, Bayer got Danny McMahon to strike out to end the threat.  The Athletics piled on seven more runs in the top of the fourth. Declan Quill’s single got things going, scoring Zach Walker and Nick Sharrer. That was followed up by Bayer’s double, bringing home Quill and Downs.  One Tigers run crossed the plate in the bottom half of the sixth, making the final score 17-8.  A groundout by Peter Villa set off the Tigers rally but Downs got the last out, as the LL Tigers’ Scheinman flew out.

AAA (ages 9-11)

The Giants and Dodgers squared off on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Walnut Hills West on May 31 and thrilled the crowd of onlookers with an exciting, tightly contested battle that ended 11-10 when the Giant’s Michael Hammond stole home with the winning run in the bottom of the fifth. The Giants never held the lead until the final play, thanks to some strong relief pitching by Daniel Trauberman and Casey Scheuerman, who held the Giants to only three runs in the middle three innings, and clutch hitting from Scheuerman and Nate Jackson, who each collected multiple hits for the Dodgers. The Giants’ relievers were also able to keep the game close with strong outings by George Papadopoulos (two innings, five strikeouts), Charlie Rowe (scoreless fourth inning) and Ronan Kelly (two strikeouts). The Giants were sharp on defense, throwing out three Dodgers on the base paths. Peter Kratz tried to go from first to third on a single to right by Scheuerman in the second inning, but Hammond rifled the ball to Jack Biggs, who relayed it to John Cascella at third for the tag. Then when Cascella was catching in the fourth, he gunned down Scheuerman trying to steal second, with Kelly applying the tag. The very next base runner was Jackson, who stole second, but then got caught in a pickle when Cascella threw behind the runner to Kelly, who executed the run down to perfection with Biggs, who made the tag to record the out. The biggest play on defense came with two outs in the top of the fifth. With two runs already in and the Dodgers threatening to break the game open, Henry Thatcher sent a fly ball to left center that looked like it would drive in another run and keep the rally going, but Ben Petty moved quickly to his left and made the grab to end the rally and set up the walk-off victory in the bottom of the inning. The offensive fireworks for the Giants came from Tapi Goredema (triple, two singles, three runs scored), George Lewis (single, walk, two RBI), Cascella (triple, scoring on the overthrow), Rowe (single, walk, RBI), Kelly (single, two walks) and Biggs (single, walk).

AA (ages 8-10)

On the last day of the regular season, on a perfect May 31 Saturday afternoon at Larry Graves field, the AA Sand Gnats defeated the Rockhounds, 12 to 4. The game was tied at one after one inning, but the Sand Gnats put it out of reach with nine more runs in the second and third innings. The Sand Gnats game ball went to Kyle Hill. While playing catcher, Kyle threw out a base stealer at third base.   He made a nice catch to help close out the game in the fifth inning, along with a couple hits. Starting pitcher Michael Craig pitched two strong innings, and he was relieved by Connor Tye, Evan Ramsey, Forest Beason and Max Vitt to finish the game. Evan Ramsey had a strong all-around game to celebrate his ninth birthday. He scored four runs on four hits, and made a nice play at second base in the first inning to keep two runs from scoring.   On the bright side for the Rockhounds, pitcher Patrick Short had a terrific first inning, throwing a mere 14 pitches, giving up one run and fanning three batters. Jill Vaughn went two for three at the plate and demonstrated her skill in the field with a fantastic catch of a long fly ball to left centerfield.   Nathan Madden pitched a brilliant fifth inning, striking out the first three batters he saw with only 15 pitches. Unfortunately, the Rockhounds could not capitalize, and came up with no runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The game was called for time at the end of the fifth.

On a fine May 28 Wednesday afternoon at Larry Graves field, the AA Red Wings defeated the Rockhounds 12 to 4. This was the second time these two teams met this season. Though the Rockhounds won the first contest, this time they were no match for the Red Wings offensive onslaught. Lead-off batter Jake Barakat jumpstarted the Red Wings’ offense on Wednesday with a base hit in each of his three plate appearances. The Arra brothers, Chris and Phillip, also swung hot bats, combining for four hits, four RBIs, and four runs.   Theo Schmidt and Phillip Arra turned in strong pitching performances, yielding a combined five hits and four runs over four innings of work.   At the end of the game, the Red Wings players celebrated Samuel Tombul for his toughness. Samuel reached base and subsequently scored two runs after being hit by a pitch in two of his three at-bats. Rockhounds pitcher Harris Lechtman struck out three batters in the first inning and yielded two runs, while his teammate Scott Shields yielded one run in the third inning while striking out one. Shields also knocked in a run with a double in the second inning. In the third inning, Rockhound catcher Kenzo Valentin thrilled his teammates and the crowd with an inside-the-park home run.   It was the Rockhounds’ first and only home run of the season.

On a mercifully dry May 17 Saturday afternoon at Larry Graves field, the AA Scrappers defeated the Rockhounds, 10 to 5. The game was close in the early innings, but the Scrappers offensive onslaught proved too much in the end. On the plus side for the Rockhounds, good hitting and base-running from Nathan Madden, Joel Haas, Harris Lechtman, and Garrett Vaughn broke the Rockhounds scoring slump with a big first inning. Lechtman pitched a scoreless fourth inning — an inning that the Rockhounds got out of with a chance to come back, thanks to a solid defensive play by Madden at second base, who fielded a tough ground ball and fired it to Short at first base for the third out.   The Scrappers pitchers maintained control in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings though, holding the Rockhounds scoreless. Still, the Rockhounds kept an upbeat spirit. The next day, the Rockhounds celebrated the joy of little league baseball at Nationals Park, where the Nationals hosted Little League Day.   Little League teams from the DC metropolitan area paraded around the park prior to the Nationals game with the Mets. The Rockhounds then cheered the Nationals on their way to a 6-3 victory.

Single A (ages 6-9)

The Sea Dogs and Mud Cats met in a May 31 Saturday afternoon thriller; a game that featured both tough defense and some great hitting.  These two tough teams battled it out with smart, high effort play all the way around.While the hits were hard to come by due to exceptional defense on the part of both teams, each side did manage to get some hits and run production to keep the game close until the final out.  The Mud Cats offense saw Jacob Sargent and Kai Ferro each go three for three and score runs, while Zach Pierce and Domanic Zacharias Martin went three for four scoring two runs each. Ethan Bomersheim, Sammy Fried and Liam Glavin all managed to go two for three at plate, while Nora Cunningham got a timely single in the fourth to plate a run for a RBI.  Graham Ingalls and Francesca Copley also added hits for the Mud Cats to ensure everyone reached base safely during the game.  On the offensive side of the diamond, the Sea Dogs had Colt and Gunner Dixon, along with Nathanael Clock, Cristian Henry and Sam Varner have perfect days at the plate. Gunner Dixon, Nathanael Clock, Nathan Lake, Anthony Viola, and Sammy Findler each scored runs.   Nathaniel Pollard added a nice hit for the Sea Dogs.  A great defensive showing was on display by both teams.  The Mud Cats defense made some great catches in the field to go along with solid glove work and good decisions.  Noah Winters set the tone in the first for the Mud Cats by making two solo put outs at second base, while Zacharias Martin added an exclamation point at shortstop with a great grab of a rocket line drive off the bat of Nathan Lake to end the inning. Fried added two putouts at third base in the third inning with Sargent providing two additional putouts in the fourth.  Ferro provided an impressive out in the fourth from the catcher position by snatching a foul pop up off the bat of Jonah Maco. In the fifth, Ferro then combined with Bomersheim at first base to make a solid one for three putout to wrap up the strongest defensive effort of the year for the Mud Cats.  The Sea Dogs played solid defense, and made good decisions as well.  Jonah Maco was a standout for the Sea Dogs making two plays at first base for outs early in the game; he also caught a ball off the mound and made a nice scoop and throw to Nathan Lake at first base to record two outs at the end of the game.  Lake snatched a frozen rope hit out of thin air from the shortstop position.  Nathanael Clock was on the receiving end of a great throw from Sammy Findler for a force out at first.  It was another gold glove performance from Findler who also made a great catch charging in from the outfield and was in on a play at second base as well.   Tommy Davies’ quick reaction and sure glove work lead to two tag outs on the base path.  Gunner Dixon turned in another solid day with a nice play at third base to record an out.  Each ball club played hard, smart and high energy defense that ruled the day.  The Mud Cats defense held the Sea Dogs to their lowest offensive output of the season.  This was a well-played, competitive game that ended with the final score Mud Cats 9 – Sea Dogs 5.

On Monday, June 2, on beautiful evening, the Sea Dogs and the River Cats engaged in a back and forth battle with solid defense and some hard hitting offense.  Both teams gave great effort, playing some outstanding baseball in regular season finale for both teams. Defensively both teams were sharp and played well.  The Sea Dogs came out ready to play making 13 outs in field. Gunner Dixon takes most valuable player honors in field, he grabbed three fly balls at Shortstop to single handedly record the first three outs of the game.  Dixon made two more grabs from second base in third and was on the receiving end of a nice throw from Jonah Maco to end the game.  Nathanael Clock made two very nice plays at shortstop scooping grounds and using his quick feet to hustle to the bag at second for the out.  Clock also had a nice out at third earlier in the game.  Tommy Davies made a nice play at first early in the game and an great catch from mound in the final inning.  Jonah Maco charged a shallow fly from second making a nice catch and the sure handed Sammy Findler had another great day snagging a pop up from the pitcher spot.  The River Cats were strong in field as well with several nice grabs and good throws to collect eight outs including nice stops by Cooper Stevenson and William Hahn and a great fly ball grab by Dylan Redding.  Game balls were given to Ian Redding for his fantastic hustle and diving layout grab in the dirt at shortstop and Sawyer Barrett for his improved hustle, determination and sportsmanship while going three for three at the plate. The Tough Guy award went to Liam Green who bounced back without a tear after a violent but unavoidable collision at first base. After both teams were held scoreless in the first the bats started to come alive.  The Sea Dogs had Jonah Maco, Nathanael Clock, Nathan Lake, Cristian Henry, Nathaniel Pollard, Tommy Davies, and Colt Dixon all go three for three.  Cristian Henry lead the team with three runs scored.  Nathan Lake, Nathaniel Pollard, and Tommy Davies each scored two runs.  Colt Dixon, Gunner Dixon, Nathanael Clock, Anthony Viola, and Sammy Findler each scored a run.  Cristian Henry and Nathaniel Pollard share the offensive honors for the Sea Dogs, both having outstanding games.  The River Cats saw Hayden Abbott and Garrett Stevenson each went three for three and Sawyer, Nolan Green, Quinn Harbin, and Liam each go two for three.  Marcus Leary shown great determination fouling off a number of pitches and “staying alive” in the batter’s box in route to a couple of hard to handle hits.  And William Hahn’s hustle down the line on his final at bat on a sharply hit ball made his teammates and coaches proud. The hard fought game ended with the final score Sea Dogs 14 – River Cats 6.

Rockhound pitcher Patrick Short, shown here uncorking his fastball, also  helped his cause with his bat, hitting two for three on the day and scoring a run.   Also pictured is third baseman Joel Haas.

Rockhound pitcher Patrick Short, shown here uncorking his fastball, also helped his cause with his bat, hitting two for three on the day and scoring a run.  Also pictured is third baseman Joel Haas.

Rockhound Harris Lechtman takes a swing in a game vs. the Sand Gnats.   Sand Gnat catcher Charlie Meyer is also pictured.

Rockhound Harris Lechtman takes a swing in a game vs. the Sand Gnats.  Sand Gnat catcher Charlie Meyer is also pictured.







Rockhound Jill Vaughn is ready to run from third base in a game vs. the  Sand Gnats.  Sand Gnat third baseman Forest Beason stands ready.

Rockhound Jill Vaughn is ready to run from third base in a game vs. the Sand Gnats. Sand Gnat third baseman Forest Beason stands ready.









Rockhound Scott Shields delivers his four seamer in a game vs. the Red  Wings.

Rockhound Scott Shields delivers his four seamer in a game vs. the Red Wings.












Rockhound Harris Lechtman hustles from second to third base on a grounder by teammate Cameron Barnes.

Rockhound Harris Lechtman hustles from second to third base on a grounder by teammate Cameron Barnes.











RedWing Henry Martin gets a hit.  Also pictured are Rockhounds' catcher Kenzo Valentin as well as Umpire and league alumni Erik Martin.

RedWing Henry Martin gets a hit. Also pictured are Rockhounds’ catcher Kenzo Valentin as well as Umpire and league alumni Erik Martin.














June 12, 2014 


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